In the last 25 years, more than 1 million people in the U. . have tragically lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. One out of every five drivers you pass has previously been involved in a serious wreck, and one out of every eight has been seriously hurt.
Our Bangor car accident lawyers know that these incidents are one of the top causes of death for children, teenagers and young adults under the age of 34.
Perhaps one of the most disheartening things about all of this is that many, many of these deaths could have been prevented if drivers had devoted themselves to following the law and being free of distractions, impairment and drowsiness every single time they got behind the wheel.
What’s baffling is that most people know this and strongly agree that these actions are inherently dangerous, unacceptable and should be harshly punished. But according to the latest Traffic Safety Culture Index survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many of these same individuals aren’t practicing what they preach.
The foundation late last year conducted a survey of nearly 3,900 licensed drivers ages 16 and older, publishing the results in January. What they discovered was that drivers tend to severely judge their peers for posing a danger on the roads, yet many engaged in the same practices.
For example, cell phone use and texting has been a rapidly growing problem. Where as cell phones did not exist 25 years ago, in 2011, they were a noted factor in 1.3 million crashes – about a quarter of the total.
People know this is a problem. More than 65 percent of people say talking on a handheld cell phone while driving is either somewhat or totally unacceptable, while nearly 95 percent of drivers felt the same way about texting and e-mailing. About half of all those surveyed said they would support stronger legislation to further restrict such behaviors.
And yet, two out of every three drivers reported having talked on a handheld cell phone while driving in the last month, and more than a third say they do so pretty regularly. More than a quarter of respondents indicated that they had typed or sent an e-mail or text message in the last month while driving, and about 35 percent admitted they had read a message while driving.
Similar findings were revealed with regard to drunk driving attitudes versus habits. Nearly 70 percent believed that impaired driving by someone under the influence of alcohol poses a very serious threat to their own personal safety. Nearly 100 percent said they consider it personally unacceptable and about 90 percent said it was completely unacceptable.
At the same time, nearly 15 percent of those polled said they had gotten behind the wheel tipsy at least once over the previous year. Almost 10 percent said it happened more than once in that year and about 2 percent said they had done it within the last 30 days.
Speeding, which according to the National Safety Council is involved in one out of every three traffic fatalities, was also seen as inherently dangerous. Ninety percent of respondents said traveling faster than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in a residential area was unacceptable, while almost 75 percent said it’s unacceptable to go more than 15 miles per hour over the limit on the highway.
But almost half of all motorists admit to both behaviors themselves.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.
2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index, January 2013, Annual Report, AAA Foundation
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